The automobile industry is one of the most complex and fascinating industries in the world. One of the more interesting facets of the industry is the sheer amount of innovation and technological advancement that we are currently seeing. Manufacturers are working on self-driving cars, electric cars and everything else in between. And just recently, one of the most desired and dreamt-of fantasies of the automotive industry could become a reality: the flying car.
Practically since the dawn of the automobile and the airplane, human beings have always wanted to mix the two as seamlessly as possible. Television, movies and other media have, for decades, depicted a world where human beings can take flight in their personal vehicles. And while we are still not at that stage, we are on the verge of a major breakthrough.
According to a report from Business Insider, Volocopter, a German-based startup, has struck a deal with the Dubai Road and Transport Authority (DRTA) to test out self-flying taxis for five years.
The flying taxis can fly for up to 17 minutes and can comfortably seat two passengers. The company has worked with the DRTA in order to create a set of predetermined routes for the tests. The tests will take place before the end of the year, meaning that the citizens of Dubai will be looking up to a sky full of flying taxis.
Although the taxis have the ability to sly themselves, they will be manned by a pilot for the entirety of the testing period. And while it is intriguing to think that the world will see a flying taxi service within the year, it also lends itself to many more questions.
Will this technology be implemented into personal vehicles as well? Will they be pilotable or will they exclusively function autonomously? What will guidelines and regulations look like for the vehicles? These are all questions that will hopefully be answered by the time flying vehicles make their way into the hands of eager consumers. But until then, the world will watch Dubai as it takes a tremendous leap towards the world of tomorrow.
We are living in a digital age. Smartphones can now complete almost all of the tasks that only refrigerator-sized computers could back in the 80s, smartwatches can track our heart rates and play music, and our appliances can connect to the Internet. The household of the Jetsons is almost a reality. But I’d like to talk about an important part of our daily lives that doesn’t live inside your house: the car. Automobiles and the technological revolution that they are currently going through seems to be the topic of conversation on everyone’s mind. There are a striking number of new-age concepts and technological innovations in the automobile industry that I would love to share with you. I figured I would start off with the two that I find most interesting.
Mercedes-Benz F 015
One of the hottest topics of conversation in the world of cars is that of the self-driving car. The Mercedes-Benz F 015 capitalizes on this trend in a major way. By using advanced sensor technology and cameras, the F 015 can read any and all driving patterns on the road and drive itself. This allows the driver and passengers to relax and have some free time. The car’s interior features swiveling seats that face each other and a small desk in the center. The walls of the car feature LED screens that can be used to display information about business or your family trip to DisneyWorld.
The Oasis Car
The Oasis Car from Rinspeed is as unique as it gets. The car’s design rivals that of a modern Smartcar; however, the Oasis is far more technologically inclined that the Smartcar. The Oasis boasts several far-out features that one can only dream of, including: headrests with built-in speakers, a full-motion steering wheel that can be fitted with a keyboard, a ceiling with multiple LED lights, a three-monitor computer placed on the dashboard that can be used for Internet browsing as well as traditional navigation and multimedia functions, and, quite possibly the most unique feature of all, a miniature garden. If this car ever makes it to production, I would love to test-drive it.
As I’ve said before, there are plenty of other boundary-pushing concepts for the automotive industry. I will definitely discuss them throughout this ongoing series. Be sure to come back next month for part two!
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